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Old 01-05-10, 02:00 PM   #1
wunderkind
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Commuters with roadbikes, what tire size you use?

Just wondering for those who commute on roadbikes, what width tires do you use?
Part of my commute include crush gravel. I am looking to switch out my 700cX23 for something wider. But not sure to go with 28 or 32(if it fits). The rims are Alex DC19s.
Or would I be better off to use my hybridized hardtail mtb since there is some unpaved sections?
thanks.
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Old 01-05-10, 02:08 PM   #2
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I've ridden levee roads on 25mm tires pretty comfortably. 28 or 32 would be even better. I don't think there's any need to use a MTB just for crushed gravel.
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Old 01-05-10, 02:10 PM   #3
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FWIW I used to ride an old road bike with 28mm tires on pretty much anything that resembled a path or road regardless of whether it was paved, gravel, or just packed dirt. Sand or real loose gravel might be problematic but otherwise the 28s were fine.

I commute on 23s from April through November now but my commute is all on pavement.
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Old 01-05-10, 02:10 PM   #4
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I use 700 x 28 on both my roadies. The singlespeed only sees pavement use these days, but the brevet bike gets a fair amount of hardpack dirt and crushed/packed gravel trail use. On days when the gravel is feeling loose or the dirt roads are more mud than hardpack, I'd prefer a 32mm or even a 35mm light CX tread; but since most of my riding is on concrete and asphalt, I stick with the 28mm.
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Old 01-05-10, 02:21 PM   #5
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I use 32 on my commuter I also used to have that rim and have fit up to 38s on that rim no problem assuming your frame will allow. I really like the range in tire pressure I max pressure every couple of week and don't mess with air until a couple weeks later. These are what I have http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...category=10000 cheap and no flats yet except a someone let the air out of both tires when locked on the rack a couple of months ago while at work, lame prank.
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Old 01-05-10, 02:24 PM   #6
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I commute on a touring bike with 28's. It goes through grass, packed sand, and gravel just fine. My road bike has 23's and I'm nervous any time those tires are not on pavement, but I don't use it for commuting.
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Old 01-05-10, 02:26 PM   #7
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I use 32 on my commuter I also used to have that rim and have fit up to 38s on that rim no problem assuming your frame will allow. I really like the range in tire pressure I max pressure every couple of week and don't mess with air until a couple weeks later. These are what I have http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...category=10000 cheap and no flats yet except a someone let the air out of both tires when locked on the rack a couple of months ago while at work, lame prank.

That's great to know that the DC19s will fit wider tires. Your tire suggestion look like slicks! I think I will need some thread given some of the crushed gravel sections I have to negotiate.
BTW, how do the DC19s hold up in terms of maintaining trueness? spoke integrity?
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Old 01-05-10, 02:33 PM   #8
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The issue is not with the rim, as my CX bike and Road bike both have the same size rims, it is what sized tire will clear your brakes and frame.

I run 38s on my CX bike, and 28s on my road bike (well, 28s on one, and 25s on the other).
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Old 01-05-10, 02:38 PM   #9
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I've used 28s, 26s and 25s on my road bike, and the 28s (Vittoria Randonneurs) were far and away the best on gravel or otherwise unpaved surfaces.

I'd go with 28s or 32s, if they fit.
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Old 01-05-10, 02:45 PM   #10
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Right now I've got 40s but as soon as they arrive I'm putting 35s on my "touring" bike. I have to drop off a curb every day and occasionally ride on cobblestones so big and soft is nice. I was using 30s on my last bike, that was as big as it would take and even then I couldn't mount my rear fender.
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Old 01-05-10, 02:48 PM   #11
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mine were laced to formula hubs and stock on my cross bike and took a beating on the mtb trails and some bad curb hoping they would need the occasional truing but overal pretty decent wheels.
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Old 01-05-10, 03:15 PM   #12
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25's have become my tire size of choice for all of my roadbikes. Noticeably more comfortable without any perceived increase in effort or rolling resistance. Even if they slowed me down a bit, I think I'd still use them due to the comfort factor.

It should be noted that I'm a fat bastard and a pretty slow one at that. I'm also getting a bit long in the tooth and comfort now trumps speed in my world.
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Old 01-05-10, 03:29 PM   #13
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I'm going to recommend you stay with slick tires, even though you have a little crushed gravel. Think about it this way, the knobs will help you a little over the small amount of gravel, and then hurt you significantly on the road, and even the hard packed dirt.

28mm is a great all around size, rolls well over rougher terrain, but still at home on the road.
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Old 01-05-10, 03:36 PM   #14
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25's
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Old 01-05-10, 03:54 PM   #15
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When I commute on my race bike, I ride on 23's, because that's what I have on that bike. Skinny tires work great on pavement, and are fine for stretches on packed dirt roads and paths (I've raced on the stuff, it's absolutely doable). Crushed gravel, not so much - it's doable, but unpleasant. If I were to build a road bike up as a commuter/rando bike rather than a racer, I would probably put 28's on it. If I expected lots of riding on gravel paths, I might go as wide as 32, but I would prefer 28 as a compromise.
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Old 01-05-10, 04:18 PM   #16
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We haven't had much slush yet this winter, so take my experience with a grain of salt.

Anyway, I have been riding many widths, since I ride many bikes. My main/favorite commuting bike has a 28 in front and 32 in back.

I also have a fixed gear bike with some really narrow tires. They're 23 or 25, not sure.

I also recently got an old 3-speed with 26x1-3/8" tires, which works out to 35mm wide, in theory.

I'm not much into fat-tire bikes.
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Old 01-05-10, 04:51 PM   #17
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I've parked the skinny tire roadie for the winter. For commuting, I prefer my 28s pretty much year round. It's also the biggest tire I can squeeze under the fenders. I ride through some nasty stuff and I'm pretty sure crushed gravel wouldn't even be the worst of it. Should be fine.
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Old 01-05-10, 05:00 PM   #18
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I have 28s with thick, thorn-resistant tubes on my commuter and they work fine. I ride mostly pavement but hit several railroad tracks and some really bad asphalt on my commute and they handle that well.
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Old 01-05-10, 05:22 PM   #19
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My rb has 23mm at 115psi (and I let it fall to around 90psi if I'm real bad, oh the ride is so good) and my cx has 32mm 80psi tires (oh boy this bikes is so comfortable after the rb). Aksium on rb, DA22 on cx. My preference is rb whenever possible, cx on those odd occasions (full fenders, rack, rain and snow conditons). I might try 25mm on my rb one day, but so far I'm not bothered.
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Old 01-05-10, 06:09 PM   #20
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Currently I'm using a frame that can only fit 23s under fenders, so that's what I'm riding. They do fine on packed gravel and dirt, but I wouldn't mind more clearance especially in winter, so I'm switching frames. I think 28s are the best compromise for rough but clear roads, for me.
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Old 01-05-10, 06:20 PM   #21
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I have both 25 and 28c tires. If you have gravel I would stick with 28s as a minimum tire width.

Last edited by Elliots Quest; 01-05-10 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 01-05-10, 06:30 PM   #22
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I'm using the stock Bontrager 23's, no issues so far.
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Old 01-05-10, 10:07 PM   #23
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I guess I should've also add, what tire brands do you roll on? Schwalbe Marathongs?
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Old 01-05-10, 10:08 PM   #24
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Depending on brand, there seems to be some overlap on sizes. On my 27 inchers, I like 1-1/8 and 1-1/4 tires. On my 700's, I have 25C Kenda Kriteriums, since that's what the bike had when I got it. They are working just fine. I occasionally have patches of gravel to deal with, when it is dropped or kicked onto the bike path by larger vehicles, other than that all pavement, however, there are a few nasty ridges on the bike trail due to concrete blocks settling and poorly installed bridges. So for that and the gravel, I'd be pretty uncomfortable on tires smaller than what I'm using now, at least on the rear, when loaded up for the commute.
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Old 01-05-10, 10:22 PM   #25
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I guess I should've also add, what tire brands do you roll on? Schwalbe Marathongs?
My commuter has 700c x 28 Forte GT2/K with Forte Thorn-Resistant tubes. Installed in November 2008 and haven't flatted yet. Stopped avoiding glass about 6 months ago and ride over pretty much anything in the way.
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